….Been a decent January for us, but there’s still trouble on the horizon. New disclosure laws went into effect, specifically Good Faith Estimates and a SLEW of new reforms. I am not sure at all that any of it helps, but after a long talk and some research, I can say this……I can see where they are wanting to head, but they didn’t get there with the current GFE and closing documents……
I think they’ll get there, but the revisions, can’t come soon enough.
Near as I can figure, a mortgage broker will need a worksheet on the front end to explain all the terms to a borrower. Then they will have the required GFE (which they can’t change much, and in some spots its just indecipherable, but I KNOW the people responsible for this already know this) and then they will have to have a settlement sheet to explain what the GFE really says and what the borrowers need to do in order to close.
Oh, and you can’t get a GFE anymore without an actual property, and an actual purchase price….so, you most likely have to get a “quote worksheet” when you get preapproved, do the deal, get through inspections, and THEN fire up the mortgage brokers to quote rates and closing costs for you…..
Bottom line, If your Realtor can’t explain this stuff to you, get another Realtor. As of right now, I think I could explain it to you….but I honestly couldn’t swear it. Don’t fire me!
This and a few things will push out closings for a bit, and then they’ll snap back to the usual 30 days after awhile. Why, I just closed one today that too exactly 29 days….clean and simple. (actually they had the home inspection completed before the offer, so…..that was cheating a bit.
Banks are still defending their liquidity, and I’m finally seeing big media pick up on the fact that the banks are still playing a bit of a shell game. They still have to lend, however, so they are being picky, picky, picky……
Our local bank bit the farm this week too. Not that it was a huge surprise, but…..it was a big surprise.
I fully suspect the home owner’s tax credit program to be extended, things are just not healthy enough yet. I suspect that the secondary market buying programs will continue as well, probably until the end of 2010. That’s just me guessing, but I’m seeing a recovery, but not an improvement. (Recovery= market reassembles itself with moderately sane people in it trading at arms length. Improvement=anything resembling firming, like price uptick, volume uptick for multiple months, of heaven forbid, multiple buyers again. I can dream can’t I?)
There seems to have been another round of capitulation in the market too, in January. Price reductions have happened, but when there’s no market (or the sector is hibernating) there’s just no market. And it opens the door to the other scary question (what’s the value of a property when there’s no market?) I suspect this will continue until March, when all those discounted places will get snapped up, and we’ll have another round of firming, there will be an even bigger flush of new properties, and then….well, you get the picture.
Hey, at least stuff is selling.
About the kookiest thing to come out of the prior RESPA reforms (actually the HVCC) is the completely random lowest cost provider Appraisers. In a market where the HVCC is supposed to reduce the chance of coercion, I’m commonly asked by appraisers who are not from the local area what good comps are for their target homes. They don’t know or understand the market, and subsequently come up with some of the most random valuations I’ve ever seen. Apparently, being a local appraiser doesn’t count for anything anymore. It’s pretty hilarious, and a glaring flaw in the theory versus reality. I’m confident it will change over time, as a lot of the appraisers from out of the area have determined that the travel time is too great, and have given up.
And finally, check out the FB page for Copperwest. There are three good topics on there, including the morality of walking away, a recent report indicating that housing sizes are shrinking, but that the kitchen is still king, and…..the 2009 Home remodelers report, which tells you what you can expect to get out or any remodel by type and region, great stuff at Copperwest.com, and It’s going to be even Bettter Next Month!